Few young chefs better exemplify the power of strong ideas and point of view than Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske. Their first restaurant, Contra, became a word-of-mouth favorite in New York City culinary circles shortly after opening on Orchard Street in 2014. Multicourse set menus at bistro prices, a stripped-down ambience with cool music and a parade of hip guest chefs from around the world — how could you not love it?
Then came Wildair next door, a next-generation, no-reservations wine bar with a focus on the organic and natural. Here, von Hauske, a 26-year-old with places like Noma and Fäviken on his résumé, and Stone, 31, who’s cooked at Isa in Brooklyn and Rino in Paris, create à la carte dishes that veer between playful (potato cake with sea urchin) and challenging (shrimp and celery, with the shrimp served whole; you’re encouraged to eat it head and all).
In the latest episode of New Chefs Rising, shot at both Contra and Wildair, Stone says, “The food is obviously important. So is having a good time.” It’s a perfect credo for their restaurants, and von Hauske hammers home the point: “This is who we are,” he says. Watch as the two discuss their ascending restaurants and careers, as well as create a dessert that showcases their ideas, in which banana ice cream and rye chips experience an unexpected union.